Back to Work

I returned home from…home? Well, I went back to South Carolina to visit my family for a long weekend, and returned to my hubby yesterday.  It was SOOOOOOOOOOOOO nice not having to stress about all of the complexities in our lives!  I’ve been talking up Turkey to my family to make them less worried about my eventual move there- and I think they are starting to understand why I am looking forward to it :).

We are still dealing with that delicate situation I mentioned a month ago, so I am unable to divulge any details yet… and I will be working on my thesis and wrapping up my graduate work in the coming months.  It will be slow goings here on When In Turkey until all of this work gets caught up…but inshallah I will have more comics coming soon 🙂

Putting your foot down

A lot has been going on recently, especially with the hubsy’s PhD!  He put his foot down with his advisor saying that he only has a little bit of time left in the US before he MUST return to Turkey, PhD or no PhD, and he has no time for classes!  His advisor was shocked, expecting many more years out of the hubster before he could graduate.  Well, long story short, it seems that he is done with classes after this term! YAY!

Also, he took his qualifies (the exam that means you can continue your PhD studies…like a GRE for PhDs) and PASSED! Alhamdulillah!

These are all the things that we were looking for as signs that his PhD is attainable and we should stay after I graduate this coming summer. Inshallah it all works out! Sorry I can’t be more detailed, I have to study for an exam. I hope my next post will be as happy!

Happy (maybe?) New Year!

I know I am a little late for the well wishes, but I have been thoroughly enjoying my holiday.  By enjoying, I mean laying in bed, using my new coffee maker to get me out of it, then baking and cooking all the day long.  It is so sad that this wonderful vacation will soon be ending.  I suppose I can relive it by a quick recap.

We drove from sun up till sun down (literally!) two weeks ago to visit my family in the best state there is.  I really did miss it!  What a difference you can see though, when driving north.  From lush green grass that enjoys the belated winter to dead white grass and stark naked trees!  Ironically it was gloomy and gray our first few days there, but that’s ok!  We stayed for Christmas and it was great spending time with my grandparents, mom, and brother.  Incase you were wondering, I got everything I wanted for christmas ;). We left and headed south on Dec 30 and actually got back earlier than I anticipated, despite the heavier traffic (I think it was my strategic speeding). We brought in the New Year by my husband waking me up twice in a ten minute time span to give me my New Years kiss.  I am getting old!!

For christmas I received a baking stone from my mom, and I must suggest everyone invest.  It made a huge difference for the frozen pizza we bought the day we returned (poor broke us).  Also, my husband commented that it made my fresh baked french bread better, but I may have been jadeed on that because the bread went flat when I tried to pick it up and put it on the preheated stone…I bet it will make pita bread delicious!

Also, my brother bought me some fancy-schmancy markers that are supposed to be similar to copic (these are called spectrum noir).  I will post my first attempt at using those bad boys separately.

In other news,  on this gloomy, rainy, horrendous day that should only be spent under a blanket, I must drag myself to the University to sign my letter of assignment.  Basically, it is stating that I understand my scholarship and will stay here and do my TA work fror the semester (or they can make me pay back the money).  I find it very frustrating that my advisor got a hold of these letters the day I left for vacation. Coincidence? Probably.  I need to go to the office and fix an error in my schedule before tomorrow anyway.  The new semester starts on the 6th and I am quite anxious…

Finals week 2013

So very ominous…

My first finals week of grad school is upon me, and yet I feel as though I couldn’t care less.  Perhaps it’s because only two of the three courses I’m taking have a final?  Perhaps it’s because I’m taking “research planning” (not even sure how to describe what that is…grad school 101?) and my advisors course?  Both of which I’m doing well in.  I am not going in blind, by any means.  I’ve studied over the materials…maybe three times.  These are not the most difficult courses offered in the department.  It is so hard to motivated at this point! Fake it till you make it…

In other news, I had a beautifully planned out course work list for the rest of my stay here.  HAD is the key word.  I tried to opt out of taking Advanced Food Processing, since I took a processing course at my undergrad university…but it seems they are trying to push me back into it.  Unfortunately, it is the same time as Waterborne Pathogens, which is what I really WANTED to take…Boo.  Now it seems that I will have to take an 8.30a course instead.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, I will be taking statistics in the summer…an 8.30a course that meets EVERY SINGLE DAY…until June.  Still, that’s no fun.

I am in the process of defining the methods for my masters research.  I will be making a little field trip (literally) to the research fields that the university has on the week after finals.  My husband and I are planning to load up the car and drive back to my home state for christmas break right after that.  Like, the next day.  I can’t wait to go home!  I’ve never attended university so far from home (which has pros and cons).  The pro here is that when we leave for break…we REALLY leave for break.  Can’t wait to disappear!

Whirl Wind Week…

  If you were to sign into my wordpress account at this moment, you would find one saved draft of a post from two days ago describing our decision to return to Turkey this coming summer…

  And now I am deleting it.

  It seems my husband has once and for all decided that we should stay here and work our hardest to complete our respective degrees.  I am incredibly proud of him.  This decision has been a struggle for over a month, with so many repercussions to consider.  On Monday afternoon he sent me a message saying that his decision was to leave.  I told my advisor and he explained the procedure to withdraw from the program, and how sure I was this statement was the final decision. 

I said “I dont even know…” and its a good thing I didn’t do it.

The following day the hubby expressed his hesitance to give up his chance at obtaining his PhD.  Around 1.20p, while I was in class, he texted me saying “Let’s do this”…lets stay.  I got back to my advisor that day and I could see his smirking as I walked in his office, as if he knew what I was going to say.  

  Today we met regarding my masters project.  Next semester will be hell.  I will be taking two classes, TAing the most labor intensive lab, and driving 1hr north of here to an extension research facility on a weekly basis.  And it is all a blessing. 

Final projects and exams are coming up…and I better recover from the laziness I have enjoyed whgen I thought my grades wouldn’t matter…!! Hayirlisi olsun!

And so it begins…

 

Not living in Turkey, but graduate school.  Today was the official first day of classes for me, and I’m already worried.  It is amazing what can be forgotten in 3 months, let alone a few years! 

  It’s been a few years since I took the undergraduate equivalents of what I’m taking this semester in graduate school, and that has become all too apparent in the “silly quiz” (as the professor called it) that we took in one of my classes.  She just wanted to see where we were in our level or recollection.  I am the only 1st year masters student in this course (well, there’s only 5 people to begin with) and I have forgotten the most, it seems! I try to tell myself that it’s because I haven’t needed the information required in these particular courses for 2 years.  Now I find myself reviewing old lectures on the topics I have forgotten.  I’m anxious to go to the lab and show how much I’ve forgotten :(.  

  This holds true specifically for one class. The other two seem to be fresher in my mind, having been talked about the last year of my undergraduate experience.  

  Also, I have received a TA-ship (Teaching assistantship) to pay for graduate school.  My first class I am TA-ing holds very little responsibility.  Answer emails from students and help proctor exams.  Fortunately, this class is “new” to the university, but I have taken its equivalent at my undergraduate university and have been beaten about the head and neck with the information supplied in the course.  I hope I do well aiding the students…

  I hope this doesn’t drive me crazy.  Deep breaths. Its worth it, giving me an advantage when we go to Turkey.

Standing at the crossroads

So what now?
So what now?

At this point we are standing at the crossroads. This is the point of no return, at which we must take a step in one direction and follow through. The options are neither clear nor simple, both loaded with risks, negatives, positives and uncertainty, but this is where we are.
1. Remain in the US
On my side this is a no-brainer. Everything for me has been working out to a T (for now at least). I graduated magna cum laude 2 months ago with a bachelors in Food Science, was accepted to another university to receive my masters (for which my tuition is covered by the school and I will be paid a salary for living). No clouds here, right? My husband, however (married for 2 months, together for 3 years) is living a different story. Being a Turkish national, he is here on a stressfull J1 visa with a scholarship from his government (going on 6 years now) that gives him 3 more years to obtain his PhD. No problem? Wrong. Everything for him is going to hell in a hand basket. Research is not fruitful, advisor doesnt give two narrow pigeon farts about his struggles, and all the while the debt is ringing up and time is burning out, limiting his retirement in the future and his pay grade. Not too bright.
2. Return to Turkey
And here the coin flips. We’ve known all along that we would be returning to Turkey to work off his debt to his government via teaching. However, we had planned for him to have his PhD and me my masters before this occurred. If we leave now I will be master-less (meaning there is no job for me in Turkey), not speaking the language, and basically house bound for God only knows how long until I can speak the language and learn the customs well enough to venture out alone. Possibly in the future I could take my masters from a Turkish school, but their level of education is pitiful in comparison to the options here. Its better than nothing, right? But for him, he would be able to complete his PhD under an advisor he knows and trusts, studying his favorite topic, in a city that he loves, near his family (whom I also love!). And while he is studying at the university, finding his niche, I will be left in the house with nothing to do but clean and bake. I am not housewife material. But on the other hand, I would be fluent and comfortable in Turkish in 4 years when he must enter basic training (a requirement for all Turkish men) instead of floundering after only a year in Turkey.

As you can see, the decision is not one to be made lightly. There are many benefits and side effects to both options. Family isn’t even being considered, since weighing my family vs. his family balances at 0. They both are wonderful. By the time this is read, however, the decision will probably have been made. All we can do now is look for guidance and a sign. Insallah the decision will be made painlessly.